February is considered by most to be the season of love. It's the season of telling people that you love them - of giving roses and tokens of affection to your special someone, of romantic dinners and private get-aways. But, in recent years, I have come to ask a very important question: is this all there is? Is this all that love is really about? I ponder and ask myself further: Is love merely about human feelings, emotions, and arrows shot from Cupid's bow? Where does true love originate?
The realization comes to me that the origin of love did not start with humanity. It began with God. God's love existed before time ever did, and He imparted a capacity for that love into the hearts of human beings, thus reflecting the truth John Milton described so well when he said that humanity was "majestic, tho' in ruins." When God created the world and the first human beings to inhabit it, He taught them how to love. But here is the most startling thing of all: when they turned their backs on Him and rejected that love of His, He didn't turn around and do the same to them - He showed them the greatest act of selfless love imaginable: He sent His Son Jesus to earth to die for the sins of humanity and restore that broken love! We've all heard that verse which says,
"Greater love hath no man than this:
that a man lay down his life for his friend."
In no way was this better exemplified that in the life, death, and resurrection of the Sovereign Lord. Is that not a wonder? That Jesus would love humanity enough to give His one life for them…even when they cared little for Him or had any desire to return that love?!!! In and of myself, I have no ability to love God, to follow Him, or to believe.
I must be taught to do so. Taught by the One who is the truest example of love. Through Him, we learn what it means to be unselfish, to be kind, to be gentle, to treat others with respect and dignity. By looking to Him and following Him, we are transformed from unloving human beings into caring people who love like He does.
This season, I choose to focus on the love of God. Because, without Him to show the way, I would have no reason to love those around me or to accept the love they show toward me! God must give the grace and provide the example.
"I love my Lord, but with no love of mine,
For I have none to give;
I love thee, Lord, but all the love is Thine,
For by Thy love I live.
I am as nothing, and rejoice to be
Emptied, and lost, and swallowed up in Thee."